Civil Rights Movement

Timeline created by njoles
In History
  • Montgomery Bus Boycott

    Montgomery Bus Boycott
    A non-violent protest took place against the public transit system within Montgomery, Alabama. Rosa Parks, after a long day of work, did not give up her seat on the bus to a white woman, which caused her to be arrested. African Americans walked to and from work, for approximately one year, in order to campaign against the racial segregation that occurred on the public transportation system in Alabama.
  • The Little Rock Crisis

    The Little Rock Crisis
    After the Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court ruling, Arkansas declared following the desegregation of public schooling. However, on September 4th, 1957, at Central High School in Little Rock, nine African American students were denied access to the school by the Governor of Arkansas. The 25th of September, Eisenhower sent in units of the U.S. Army to guarantee the children's enrollment and safety. Without this crisis, it's possible that segregation in schools could have never been solved.
  • Civil Rights Act of 1957

    Civil Rights Act of 1957
    On September 9, 1957, President Eisenhower signed the Civil Rights Act of 1957 into legislation. This was the first action taken after WWII, where the federal government took action to protect civil rights. It gave federal officials the power to prosecute anyone who conspired to deny a citizen's individual right to vote. This Act showed the government's commitment to protecting civil rights and liberties.
  • Greensboro Sit-In

    Greensboro Sit-In
    Joseph McNeil, Franklin McCain, David Richmond and Ezell Blair, were four African American college students that sat down at a "whites only" counter in Greensboro, North Carolina. The Woolsworth denied the men service, which resulted in them refusing to leave. Additional students began to join them, and the sit-in protest grew throughout North Carolina and other Southern states.
  • Albany Movement

    Albany Movement
    A desegregation and voter's rights movement formed in Albany, Georgia. This group was led by the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee but gained support from Martin Luther King Jr. and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. The movement challenged racial discrimination and segregation. The protesters used jail-ins, sit-ins, and boycotts. Albany eventually removed segregation laws, and African American voters continued to register.
  • Birmingham Campaign

    Birmingham Campaign
    A movement led by the SCLC that brought attention to desegregating public facilities in Birmingham, Alabama. The goal was to apply pressure on Birmingham merchants. On April 3, 1963, this campaign was launched with counter sit-ins, a march on city hall, and a boycott of downtown merchants. The campaign extended to kneel-ins at churches, sit-ins at the library, and a march to register votes.
  • Arrest of Martin Luther King Jr. in Birmingham

    Arrest of Martin Luther King Jr. in Birmingham
    As a leader, King risked being jailed during the Birmingham Campaign. He was arrested on April 23, 1963 and sent to Birmingham Jail for violating the anti-protest injunction. On May 2, 1963, in response to King's arrest, more than one thousand African American students tried to march into downtown Birmingham: hundreds were arrested. Police and fire departments used force to slow down this march. Children were blasted by fire hoses, clubbed by police, and attacked by dogs.
  • March on Washington

    March on Washington
    This march advocated for civil and economic rights of African Americans. More than 200,000 people gathered; the crowd was uplifted by King's "I Have a Dream" speech. This speech and uplifted national opinion and the passing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This act guaranteed equal voting rights and outlawed discrimination in theatres, restaurants, and other public institutes. "In a sense we've come to our nation's capitol to cash a check."
  • Bloody Sunday

    Bloody Sunday
    About 600 people began a 54-mile walk from Selma, Alabama to the capitol of Montgomery. White state troopers assaulted the marchers as they crossed the Edmund Pettus Bridge. In Selma, black voters made up about 2%. This day caused a national uproar within the United States. Amelia Robinson said, “I wasn’t looking for notoriety. But if that’s what it took, I didn’t care how many licks I got. It just made me even more determined to fight for our cause."
  • Poor Peoples' Campaign

    Poor Peoples' Campaign
    An effort within 1968 that was formed by MLK Jr.; his plan was to have 2,000 poor people descend to Washington, D.C. and meet with government officials to discuss minimum wage, unemployment insurance, and education for poor adults and children. SCLC, even after King's assassination, continued on with the campaign. The campaign ended with 200 counties having free surplus food distributions.
  • Fair Housing Act of 1968

    Fair Housing Act of 1968
    A landmark of the Civil Rights Movement that was created to deplore landlords, renters, and tenants from practicing discriminatory actions. President Lyndon B. Johnson signed this act, during the King assassination riots, to reinforce the principle that every American citizen should be granted the right to live somewhere, without fear of discrimination from something they cannot control.
  • Shirley Chisholm in the 1972 Presidential Campaign

    Shirley Chisholm in the 1972 Presidential Campaign
    The first African-American to seek office, as the president. She ran against George Wallace, who was the Southern face of segregation. She was the first black U.S. Congresswoman as a Representative of her New York district. She was not planning on winning, but rather intended to negotiate with the presidential candidate that won on the basis of rights for women, black Americans, and Native people.
  • Barbara Jordan Significance

    Barbara Jordan Significance
    As the first African American congresswoman to represent Texas at the Democratic National Convention, Barbara Jordan delivered the keynote address. This address was important to highlight that the nation should be working together, not fighting.
    "A nation is formed by the willingness of each of us to share in the responsibility for upholding the common good. A government is invigorated when each one of us is willing to participate in shaping the future of this nation."
  • 1980 Miami Riots

    1980 Miami Riots
    Four Dade County Public Safety Department Officers were released of their charges of the death of Arthur McDuffie, an African American man. For three days, the riots continued and caused 18 people to die, 400 were injured, and property damage was around $100 million. This event shows how court cases ended, in favor of the whites, and set the precedent for future organizations to fight against racism in courts.
  • First African American Astronaut in Space

    First African American Astronaut in Space
    Guion Stewart Bluford Jr. was the first African American to be sent into space. He was aboard the space shuttle Challenger, where he tested its mechanical arm and performed the launches of important weather and communication satellites. He became an important figure for the American society, and allowed African American children and adults to believe in their dreams and pursue them.
  • Oprah Winfrey Launches Talk Show

    Oprah Winfrey Launches Talk Show
    Oprah Winfrey was broadcasted for the first time, where she turns into a national figure for women from her huge success. This wasn't the only televised production she had been in, but she continued into the film industries as an actress. This made an impact on the African American society, and allowed Oprah to face the racism head on, and be a strong leader throughout her entire lifetime and still today.
  • Bill White in the Professional Baseball League

    Bill White in the Professional Baseball League
    Bill White, in 1989, was elected to head the Major League Baseball’s National League and be a play-by-play broadcaster for a major-league team. He was the fist African American to take this position, and he replaced Bart Giamatti. White, in his years, played for the New York and San Francisco Giants, St. Louis Cardinals and Philadelphia Phillies. All the while, he rallied against racism and faced discrimination during his entire career, but he proved to society that he could stand against it.
  • Art Shell & His Football Legacy

    Art Shell & His Football Legacy
    An African American professional football player in the American Football League. In 1989, he became the first African American head coach of the modern NFL era, for the Raiders. He played offensive tackle with the Oakland & Los Angeles Raiders from 1968 to 1982. During his career, he was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, showing children and adults the impact that he made in football and how they could reach their dreams too.
  • The 1992 Los Angeles Riots

    The 1992 Los Angeles Riots
    Four white policemen were acquitted in court based on a charge in March 1991, where an African American motorist was beaten. The belief that the Los Angeles police force engaged in police brutality against African Americans and Hispanics, which caused an uproar in the community. "No justice, no peace!" The society was upset with the unfair treatment and took a stand against it.
  • The Million Man March

    The Million Man March
    The promotion of African American unity and values was held in the gathering of around 1 million African Americans, most of which were men. Louis Farrakhan organized the gathering in Washington, D.C., and while some believed that he was doing harm by resegregating the U.S., he influenced and brought together many African Americans on this day.
  • 2008 Barack Obama Election

    2008 Barack Obama Election
    Elected as the 44th President of the United States, Obama came from a middle class standing. He went to college off of loans and scholarships. He was the first African American president of the Harvard Law Review, when he attended Harvard Law School. He was elected as president on November 4, 2008, and he was sworn into office on January 20, 2009, showing the United States how important it was to the black community to end racist beliefs and stigmas.
  • “Black Man, Black Clothing”

    Josh Bills in Kansas City faced police brutality in December of 2013. He was quickly surrounded by five police officers and did not act aggressively. However, the officers violently kicked him and smashed his face into the ground. He was defenseless against the officers; he wound up in jail for two weeks and lost his job. Court cases caused issues within the black community and made it difficult for racist beliefs to end, they have persisted and affected many lives.
  • #BlackLivesMatter

    In response to the trial of George Zimmerman, Alicia Garza began this movement to protest against the court finding him not guilty of second degree murder and acquitted of manslaughter. This movement continues to bring attention towards police brutality and protests formed against racism and violence towards the African American community.